| Prem Chandra Mishra welcomes Sanjiv Kumar Sinha to the Congress. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
Patna, April 11: The Congress on Friday indicated it could join hands with “secular parties” like the JD(U) after the polls, a suggestion the latter turned down and the RJD called “erroneous”.
The Congress, which has stitched a pre-poll electoral alliance with the RJD and NCP, has fielded its candidates in 12 Lok Sabha constituencies while the RJD is contesting in 27 seats and the NCP in one seat.
“Parties (Congress and JD-U) having secular mindset can come together after the Lok Sabha elections. We cannot deny opportunities that may crop up after the elections,” Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee vice-president Prem Chandra Mishra told reporters.
Mishra was replying to a query on why the Congress was not extending support to JD(U) candidates in the fray. He said the JD(U) was fighting a lost battle and the actual fight was between the Congress-RJD and the BJP combine.
The JD(U) rejected Congress’ overtures for a possible post-poll tie-up. “The 10-year Congress rule at the Centre has been disastrous. There are issues like price-rise, corruption, scams, at times even borders were not secured and there was a time when the Congress rule brought national shame. The Congress’ misrule only helped the BJP grow. We will keep equal distance from the Congress and the BJP. It is the Congress that has failed to contain communal forces. So, there is no question of having any kind of relation before or after the polls,” JD(U) national general secretary and spokesman K.C. Tyagi told The Telegraph.
RJD national spokesman Manoj Jha said: “Principally, we are of the view that all political parties having conviction in secularism should come together. But there is a catch here. The JD(U) was never secular in its approach. The very idea of secularism is ‘alien’ to the ruling party as it nurtured fundamentalist forces for 17 long years and provided fertile land (of the state) to increase their (BJP, RSS) strength in the state.”
Mishra said Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is all set to visit the state to campaign for its candidates in the third phase of polling.
Trinamul Congress state president Sanjiv Kumar Sinha joined the Congress along with his supporters at the party’s state headquarters, Sadaquat Ashram. BPCC president Ashok Choudhary approved membership for Sinha. “The party is welcoming Sinha who has come back to his old house,” he said.